Mirror Dystonia, anyone? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-31-2011, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Mirror Dystonia, anyone?

I was wondering if maybe anyone else on here has this disorder...just for kicks and giggles.

Basically, what it is is that my hands and feet copy each other. For instance, I'll scratch my head with my right hand and my left hand will curl up to scratch and make scratching motions too. My hands are more affected than my feet.
My hands/arms do most things together while my basically only my toes are affected on my feet.

Evidently (I've had this my whole life, since I was born, but I never had a name for it until today), this is caused by a gene that I'm supposed to have 2 of, but on my case (and others with Mirror Dystonia) one of the genes in that pair is faulty. I guess it's pretty rare too.

My favorite thing about this is that I can write backwards, with almost perfect handwriting, with my left hand if I hold a pen in it while I write with my right hand (I'm right handed). If I try to write forwards with my left hand, it looks terrible, but anything written backwards looks perfect. I have zero difficulty writing backwards with my left hand, it's as easy as writing correctly with my right hand. People always get a huge kick out of that. :)

I try to not tell people most of the time because once they find out, they generally want to me to do "party tricks" over and over with my hands which starts to feel demeaning after a while. But, on the flip side, I often end up with people embarrassed to ask me about it and just thinking that I'm somehow messed up, which I don't like either.

Anyway, anyone else have this?

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-31-2011, 09:45 PM
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I have never heard of that, but now that you explain it, my mom is that way! I mean the writing thingy. She loves to do the party tricks, tho.

she can also look down at a patch of clover for about 3 minutes of intense scrutiny, then reach down and pick out a 4 leaf clover out of the thousands of 3 leaf clovers, just like that! Some sort of ability to see the anomoly of the pattern. I cannot for the life of me do it. She is also very good at picking things up with her toes.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-24-2011, 01:30 AM
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Me too!

I just saw your post about Mirror Dystonia, and I am so glad to find out I'm not the only one!
I have never tried the writing backwards, but I'll have to try it.
I, too, only have it in my hands.
Makes brushing my hair and other tasks like that very hard.
I completely understand about the party tricks, that is exactly what everyone does to me and I hate it.
Just wondering, did you see a doctor to figure this out?
I've been advised to go, but I'm afraid they will just treat me like some lab rat because it's so rare.
Wish there was some kind of treatment.
I would almost have surgery if it wasn't a matter of the brain just so I could be treated like a normal person.

Hope to talk soon!
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-24-2011, 01:48 AM
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How fascinating, I had never heard of that before.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-24-2011, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't see a doctor about it before I figured it out...well, I have gone in to talk to them about it a few times but they've just acted like I'm weird/doing it on purpose, but apparently that's a pretty common reaction since it is so rare and most doctors aren't educated about it. I haven't gone in since I had an actual name for it so their reactions might be different if I said "I have Mirror Dystonia, what can you do for me?" or something like that... haha

That's a bummer that yours is bad enough that it's hard to brush your hair! I can do things like that ok, my other arm will be doing funny stuff by my side, but it stays down in a pretty normal position. I've read about people who can barely walk because of this! I'm SO glad I don't have it that bad!

I wish there was a treatment too! I don't have it badly enough to be really desperate, it just makes me a little different, but at the same time, I hate it when I explain it to someone who's known me for a while and they say "oh yeah! I've noticed that but I thought you were doing that on purpose!" or "Oh! I was afraid to ask but I've been wondering about it for a long time!". It makes me feel so alone and under scrutiny, you know?
However, there are pluses to it, imo. I know I've found a few things I can do better than a non-Mirror Dystonia person because of this syndrome, I just can't think of them right now! haha There are a few things though! Things that need two hands doing the same things at once...I've found that if I put most of my effort into moving one hand and just let the other do it's thing, it seems like I can complete those tasks with much less fatigue than the average person who has to work at making both hands/arms move... Hopefully that makes sense... haha

Anyway, thanks for posting! It's nice to hear from someone else with it.

Also, Tinyliny, I must have forgotten to respond. Oops! That's awesome about your mom and the clovers! I wish I could do that! And funny about picking things up with her toes! I can do that too, I'm not a master or anything, but I'm relatively skilled. Haha

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-19-2011, 04:45 PM
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I have mirror dystonia. Pete Baumgardner on Facebook. (Check out my left hand in my profile pick) Anyway, the funny thing is mirror dystonia has been the best thing that could have every happened 2 me. If u wish I will explain.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-21-2014, 12:15 AM
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I have Mirror Dystonia too!!

Oh my goodness Im so excited to see I'm not the only one!
I too have had mirror dystonia my whole life and it sucks!! But I also thoroughly enjoy it because its unique and different. However, I have been playing the piano for 8 years and it is VERY difficult to explain to my teacher that I cannot round my hands because they have a mind of their own!

I also just found out recently about the perfect backwards handwriting of my left hand ( I am also right handed) !! I actually call it backwards ambidextrous! Its probably not the right term but its good enough for me lol

I practically grew up in the hospital because I have always had medical problems (unrelated to my mirror dystonia) and when I would casually bring it up they would look at me like I'm psycho sooo yeah its very rare!
Good luck with everything!
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